Being a privacy professional can be tough but rewarding. There are multiple rules, definitions, and deviations by jurisdiction to those rules that we must know. This generally presents itself in the form of a question, “How do you learn and remember all these rules?” Generally, practice makes perfect and experience is the best teacher. However, I have a unique spin to this as well.
Rules such as those for a board game, as I have previously written about, are something I enjoy knowing. As of late, a lot of talk has come up around tabletop classic Dungeons and Dragons. I have spoken with friends and family about it and have been playing for a while. One of the immediate reactions to seeing the rule book is a look of unease or surprise. Afterall, how are you supposed to introduce a new player to a game with a 500-plus page rule book?
I have found that while there are a lot of rules, if you only worry about what affects you at the beginning, it makes for much smoother sailing. When GDPR was just becoming relevant back in 2017, everyone was worrying about it. Meanwhile, I was tasked with assisting a client with establishing a data subject rights procedure. I learned everything I could reading guidance from DPAs, reading the law itself, and looking for nuances that may be helpful. When the time came to implement a plan, I had the knowledge to build out the procedure.
Just like a team playing D&D, you worry about yourself and what you need to do before worrying about others. In any cooperative setting, it is expected that you know what you need to do. Everyone has experienced that irritation when someone else doesn’t do their part and now you need pull extra weight to finish the job. Just like that, everyone in your privacy team should know what part they have and be ready to act.
When everyone knows their part, and executes it well, that is when teams perform the best and succeed. Once you master your part, that’s when you can begin absorbing more knowledge from other areas, and in turn, expand your overall expertise. In other words, take steps and learn what you need to keep going.